Stena Line has reported that the first five months of 2010 saw almost 50 per cent more cyclists taking their bikes to Holland across the North Sea than during the equivalent period the previous year, according to Stena Line. The ferry operator has attributed the 46 per cent year-on-year increase in bicycles carried on its twice-daily route between Harwich and the Hook of Holland to the excitement surrounding the British participation in next month’s Tour de France.
Starting on 3rd July in Rotterdam, 18 miles from the Hook of Holland port, the three-week annual bicycle race will include a UK team for the first time. Interest in Rotterdam and the participation of "Team Sky", the British squad, has been high since team manager Dave Brailsford expressed his intention to enter a team for the race in 2008. Reflecting this, numbers of bicycles transported from Britain to Holland by Stena Line over the past quarter have been particularly high with sailings over the 2 July weekend at 80 per cent capacity. On the overnight crossing on 2 July Stena Line has 55 bicycles booked, compared to just 14 on the same day last year.
With 2010’s race stages looking tougher than last year's, and with plenty of good trails for cyclists in the surrounding windmill-strewn Zuid-Holland province, Stena Line is expecting further bookings from cycling fans for the Grand Start weekend.
Visitors to the event will be able to watch multi-Olympic medal winning Bradley Wiggins lead the squad in its debut Tour, with British riders such as Steve Cummings and Geraint Thomas also set to be included.
Stena Line offers twice-daily crossings between Harwich and the Hook of Holland taking approximately six and a half hours. Travellers on the overnight ferry from Harwich will cross in the new Stena Hollandica Superferry, the largest freight-passenger vessel of its kind in the world, which came into operation on 16th May.
About Stena Line:
Every year more than 450,000 people cross the North Sea between the UK and Holland with Stena Line, the largest ferry operator in Europe and one of the largest in the world. In the UK alone Stena Line, which operates Europe’s most comprehensive route networks, offers two daily crossings on its Harwich to Hook of Holland route as well as over 30 daily crossings on its five different routes to Ireland (Stranraer to Belfast, Fleetwood to Larne, Holyhead to Dublin, Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire and Fishguard to Rosslare) providing fast and efficient crossings with excellent onboard services and facilities.
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